This month the branch has invited David Davidson to once again share his experiences at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  His talk will lead us through the behind the scenes action of the 2017 show, including the excitement around Kirstenbosch’s double win!

David’s early years were spent growing up in the African bush of Zimbabwe and Zambia, which gave him an abiding love of nature.  His professional career started in psychology and clinical social work but a diploma in public relations was what finally enabled him to apply for the position at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, where for 17 years he headed the Graphic Services Unit.  His role there included overseeing the interpretation and publication programme for all the National Botanical Gardens as well as the design show exhibits, including Chelsea.

David has been responsible for designing and creating the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for 24 consecutive years, together with landscaper Raymond Hudson and a small core team of horticulturalists and an enthusiastic crew of volunteers.  During this time the exhibit has garnered 20 RHS Gold Medals (bringing the total since 1976 to 35), as well as the Anthony Huxley Trophy (1995) and the Lawrence Medal for the best floral exhibit shown to the RHS in 2006.

The exhibit was also the first winner of the RHS President’s Most Creative Award, which was introduced at Chelsea in 2008.  This year the exhibit received The President’s Award, for his personal favourite at the show.

David has also designed South African floral exhibits in Germany (Palmengarten), Thailand (Royal Flora Expo, Chaing Mai), Singapore (Garden Festival) and Japan (Gardening World Cup, Nagasaki).

An engaging and entertaining speaker, this talk is not to be missed.

Date:               16 September 2017
Time:              18h00
Venue:            Nivenia Hall, Harold Porter Botanical Gardens